The Japanese government on Tuesday began working on a second piece of legislation related to casino gaming in the country, Japanese newswire service Jiji Press reported. The draft statute – referred to as the implementation bill – will detail the specifics for the casino industry in Japan: how casinos are administered and regulated; the taxation regime to be applied to them; their location; and the number of licences to be issued.
Legislation making casino gambling legal in Japan came officially into effect on December 26, although investment analysts have said that it could be beyond the year 2021 before the first Japanese casino resort opens.
“To realise clean casinos, we will introduce regulations at the world’s highest standards and develop a system to properly enforce them,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (pictured) was quoted as saying at the first meeting of the government’s task force, reported Jiji Press. “Through those measures, we aim to create attractive Japanese-style integrated resorts,” Mr Abe added.
Officials from various government agencies have come together to work on the matter. The task force will also invite lawyers, accountants, economists and experts in other fields to discuss licensing and operating issues, as well as financial and tax issues, said Jiji Press.
The Japanese government plans to submit the bill during a possible extraordinary session of the parliament this autumn, added the media outlet.
Most major global casino operators have expressed an interest in developing an integrated resort – including a casino – in Japan. The list of potential suitors includes Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Resorts International, Genting Singapore Plc, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, Wynn Resorts Ltd and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
Some local governments in Japan are already moving forward with their own plans in the hope of securing one of the first casino resorts to be granted after the implementation law is passed. Osaka Prefecture established on Monday a new bureau tasked with attracting prospective developers as well as formulating policies to deal with problem gamblers, reported the Japan Times newspaper.
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”Given that the blanket casino closure [in Macau due to Typhoon Mangkhut] happened on an all-important weekend day… we expect that somewhere between MOP1.1 billion [US$136.2 million] and MOP1.5 billion in GGR will be lost”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia